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At the Digital Marketing for Medical Devices Conference in Minneapolis (July 31, 2012), we discussed industry trends regarding medical device marketing. (If you’re reading this in email, you’ll need to click here to see the video.)
Question one related to the ROI of social media for medical device companies.
The second was, “How does digital marketing help improve product outcomes? How can it decrease adverse events such as surgical complications and how can it increase patient outcomes?”
Let us know in the comments which points resonated most with you.
Joe: How does digital marketing help improve product outcomes? How can it decrease adverse events such as surgical complications and how can it increase patient outcomes? And I’d like to start with Jitesh.
Jitesh: Yeah, so I have two thoughts around that. So we have been talking about technology being an enabler. So obviously always they always had like things like surgical techniques with all these are the ability for doctors to figure out what they need to do. But as far as patient goes some of that information is not being transferred to the patient.
Now I have actually been doing some research and I found out that a lot of companies have found out that, the patients are in that passive state we discussed this morning. Because they are afraid of what the quality of life would be if they actually went through something.
And I think the digital devices and material can actually help patients navigate that, so, in fact, you can enable your doctors with some sort of a digital aid so that they can show them what the potential patient outcomes would be when they are having the interaction with the patients. Some of sort of media like that, I think that would help.
The other thing is obviously like I talked about surgical techniques. So one is the patient side the consumer side and the other one is actually the physician side themselves.
So it’s so much easier for a physician, in my opinion, to be able to look at that digitally. Which is the same thing, I mean we used to have printed materials but now we’re trying to do it digitally and quickly look at how an incision to be made or how a particular screw can be tightened or loosened with which particular gauge or screw.
So I think it just makes it more attractive, makes it a little bit more fun and interesting for them to be able to learn that they are not going back to the same thing with a flip book. That’s just my two cents on how I think we can look at both sides, both from the patients sides as per as the doctor side and kind of bring them together towards a common goal.
Kelly: So I think when you look at what we do in three steps: It’s identifying right patients for the right therapy. It’s getting them on board and it’s keeping them supported. I think the best way to improve the outcomes over here and lower adverse effects is at the front end making sure that the selection is ideal.
And as Chris was talking in the last conversation there is more data than ever before about patients … whether it be their medical data from claims perspective, EMR data, consumer, demographic data. All those things are available in at least patient identified way that you can link it back to the physician kind of identify that ideal patient if you will. And by identifying that ideal patient, you are going to get your market but you are also going to maximize the opportunity for the best possible outcomes with the least side effects.
Joe: How many of you were at that Nathan’s workshop yesterday? Okay, yeah I mean I thought that the app that he showed … “the larynx” … and how patients could be right there and the doctor can be right at their bedside and show them a video or show them something about what we are doing today and the care that’s extremely meaningful. So if there’s nothing to add … otherwise, I’ll go on to our next question. Please.
Gail: I just, I was just saying that it was really interesting. We had, of course we had a really interesting marketing issue at Cook that we needed to solve. I don’t know if you are familiar but we have a very extensive line of IVF products, in vitro fertilization. And it’s, actually in some parts of this world, we are known more for IVF than we are for any of our other devices. But we’re running into the issues of the fact that the use of our products was growing dramatically especially in third world countries. And how do we get our reps there to train people on very simple process, actually it’s not a simple process, it’s called ICSI.
One sperm cell is used to fertilize one single egg. And so, we actually used the web and created a whole video day-by-day that took the viewer through step one from day, actually negative day one from collecting the eggs and took them all the way through the process day-by-day by process, by process. So that we had this available to doctors and any kind of technician that was using the IVF anywhere in the world because it was available to them 24/7.
You have a rep, if you are dealing with reps, you know they have their vacation schedules, they have times that they are not available and you are not available on 24 times, all the time zones. So we were able to take that video and put it on the web and make that available to them in any situation. The interesting side-effect of that was that many patients who had gone through in vitro fertilization had never seen the process. They had no clue what the doctors did to them.
What they went through from the time that they collected the eggs to the times they were re-implanted back into the mother. And just the comments that Cook got back from the patients which were totally the secondary audience was amazing which is incredible. So I think everyone will look at it, the website is cookartlab.com and the video is there. Actually if you’ve been through the process and don’t know how it works, help yourself (chuckle).
Joe: Thanks for sharing that.
Greg: Joe, I got one. I think that patient compliance, when that’s part of the therapy could be an area where there is real opportunity. Like for example, at core and eluting stents one of our challenges was that, a third of the patients never get their initial dose of [indiscernible (name of drug) 0:23:36], and that’s a critical component in ensuring the outcomes. And that was definitely a barrier when concerns started to rise in step thrombosis to continue to use drug-coated stents versus [indiscernible] stents. And so an act that would help change that, end-patient behavior, it helped them understand the benefit of complying with the medical therapy and help them actually stay compliant would certainly have a huge effect on outcomes.
Joe: I like the idea of showing them a video of what happens when you stop taking your medication at 30, 60, 90.
Jitesh: And that’s why maybe we actually we need to look at both sides that what we can actually show the patients. That we can enable the practitioners to be able to show the patients what’s the benefit in real-life video for example. Of how your quality of life could improve rather than just too radical, I think that makes a huge impact on what the patient can then do with that information.
Joe: I love that. Is that an incremental idea for anyone in terms of patient follow-through, maybe showing videos bedside?
So if you end up doing that would you let me know? I think that’d be cool and I’d love to feature it in my group because, I think that’s exactly the kind of technology that something like the Medical Devices Group can broadcast and really benefit the entire community.
Is there a question back there?
Audience: More of a comment. Anthony Potter from Hanger Clinic.
I think one of the things that’s well proven for years and years now is that pre-operative education and information improves post-operative outcomes. And digital marketing is one of those tools that you can start to use pre-operatively to improve those outcomes post-operatively. That’s one thing.
Just one comment on your last comment. We at Hanger Clinic, one of the things we focus on is providing information to patients. We deal with prosthetics and orthotics so it’s really post-amputation patients in particular. Often providing as much information often after, which we can’t do before. But it’s delivered through a peer-to-peer relationship where people who have amputations go in and talk to those patients. So what we set up is that initiation of the relationship through a peer-to-peer relation. And digital tools are really useful in our space as well.
Joe: I can very much see testimonials of patients and what it was like, and what they went through to be extremely meaningful especially for someone who’s scared about the operation. Thank you for adding that.
Click for question one: What is the ROI of social media for medical device companies?
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